The European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) assesses the revised constitution as not in compliance with European Standards of Democracy and the Rule of Law.

The Sanctioning of Laws by the Prince (Art. 65.1)

According to article 65 of the Constitution the Prince has to sign every single law before it becomes valid. The simple fact that the Prince does not give his assent to a law adopted by the Parliament or by a majority of the people in a referendum is equivalent to a veto. In action alone, which by its nature is not subject to countersignature, is sufficient for a legislative veto.

Emergency Decrees (Art. 10)

In an emergency the Prince can declare the state of emergency and rule the country by emergency law. The Prince defines what is an emergency and his decrees do not need any countersignature by a minister. The parliament and the government will be overruled.

Appointment of Judges (Art. 96)

No candidate can be recommended to the Parliament for election without the consent of the Prince. A candidate who does not have the support of the Prince can only be elected in a referendum by the people. This means the Prince has a far-reaching involvement in the election procedure.

The independence and impartiality of judges is not guaranteed, even more as judges have to be reelected every five years. The Case Wille v. Liechtenstein shows this is not a theoretical case.   

Abrogation of the possibility for the State Court to interpret the Constitution in case of lacking clarity
(removal of Art. 112).

The interpretative role of the State Court to resolve disputes between the political institutions which exercise public power (e.g. Head of State, Parliament, Government) was abolished.

Dismissal of the Government or of Members of Government by the Prince Regnant (Art. 80)

The Government loses the power to exercise its functions if it loses the confidence of the Prince even if it still enjoys the confidence of the Parliament and the people. The Prince would appoint an interim government, which could govern up to 4 months before submitting itself to a vote of confidence in the Parliament.

Municipality exit (Art. 4.2)

Every municipality has the right to exit the the country in an complex procedure. In view of the size of Liechtenstein this is a merely theoretical possibility, but it does at least not violate international law.

Popular Initiative for a Motion of No Confidence against the Prince (Art. 13ter)

Citizens can introduce motion of no confidence, but the Princely House decides, if it will be approved.

The initiative cannot be taken anonymously and is therefore not equivalent to democratic free elections. Moreover the referendum will not be binding, but the final decision is taken by the members of the Princely House.

Initiative to Abolish the Monarchy (Art. 113)

Citizens can dissolve the monarchy in a very complex procedure.

This is not an effective counterweight to the lack of balance in the distribution of powers but only a final remedy for an extreme situation.

The Immunity of the Prince (Art. 7)

The Prince is not subject to the jurisdiction of the courts and does not have legal responsibility.

The Law on the Princley House (Art. 3)

The Princely House itself can regulate by law issues such as the succession to the throne, without the involvement of the Parliament.

No Parliamentary Control of the Prince (Art. 63.1)

The right of control of the Parliament does not extend to the functions assigned to the Prince.


The European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) assesses the revised constitution as not in compliance with European Standards of Democracy and the Rule of Law.
This view is widely shared by a lot of lawyers concerned with Liechtenstein Law.

Detailed information can be found

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